HC Deb 22 January 1968 vol 757 cc20-1
22. Dr. David Owen

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what progress has been made towards the normalisation of relations with the United Arab Republic since the exchange of ambassadors.

Mr. George Brown

I am glad to say that normal diplomatic relations have now been resumed. The re-establishment of embassies in the two capitals has enabled us to renew regular contact on both bilateral and multilateral matters not only to our mutual advantage but giving, valuable opportunities for discussing wider issues.

Dr. Owen

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many of us strongly support the action of opening diplomatic relations? This has already been vindicated by results. Can my right hon. Friend give us any evidence that anything has been achieved over the question of ships in the Suez Canal?

Mr. Brown

I do not want to offend against the rules, but I believe that there is a later Question on that subject. I should like to say, however, that relations have also been opened with the Somali Republic, and I believe—and have every reason to hope—that they will shortly he opened with a number of other countries who broke off relations with us at an earlier stage.